Public Works Top 10 Wins

  1. Public WorksDowntown Rail Yard Purchase: The City of Sioux Falls and BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) completed the City’s purchase of the downtown rail yard. The City of Sioux Falls agreed to purchase the rail yard for $27,334,500, utilizing federal funds, after more than a decade of planning and negotiations. The purchase agreement removes the majority of the rail yard in downtown and provides more than ten acres of property for redevelopment.
  2. Aquifer Study: The City of Sioux Falls and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) conducted a state-of-the-art groundwater survey. A helicopter flew over the Big Sioux Aquifer to collect, record, and map its geophysical measurements. Data collected during this survey will help USGS scientists map the aquifer underneath the Big Sioux River, and the City will be able to use the information to plan well placement.
  3. Street Pavement Condition Survey: Infrastructure Management Services conducted a high-tech street pavement survey when a vehicle using laser and camera technology drove each Sioux Falls street to collect data regarding pavement condition. This data is essential in prioritizing street maintenance projects to most efficiently make use of tax dollars and maximize the overall roadway conditions.
  4. Big Sioux River Water Quality: Public Works is leading efforts to improve water quality on the Big Sioux River. Working with the City of Brookings, we hosted the Third Annual Mayors Big Sioux River Water Summit, with representatives from 23 cities in the watershed and beyond attending. The department also initiated a pilot program to convert some City-owned green spaces to native plantings; brought the Environmental Division team to full staff to provide increased expertise on sustainability, wetlands, and clean water compliance; and established 590 acres of grass buffers along Skunk Creek and its tributaries.
  5. Regional Wastewater: Public Works partnered with the City of Brandon, S.D., on a long-term regional wastewater treatment agreement. The two-year negotiation and communication process reached a very positive outcome. Regional wastewater allows communities in the Sioux Falls area to avoid the expensive and changing business of treating wastewater, concentrate on other priorities, take advantage of existing capacity and the economy of scale, and reduce environmental risks.
  6. LED Street Light Pilot Project: The Power and Light Division installed 85 energy efficient LED streetlights in six different pilot areas in Sioux Falls. The new streetlights are expected to last at least 100,000 hours and provide the same amount of light but use about half as much energy. Initial results show energy savings beyond what was originally anticipated, and a city-wide LED streetlight conversion is planned over the next several years.
  7. Recycling Education Campaign: The Public Works Environmental Division developed and rolled out a new recycling campaign for the five-county area. The campaign is focused on reducing contamination at recycling facilities by using a consistent message. An updated single-stream recycling flier will be mailed to all Sioux Falls households twice each year, and the City will provide stickers for residential recycling bins that show which materials belong in the recycling bin.
  8. Public Outreach and Education: Public Works advanced public outreach and education in the areas of recycling, street sweeping, annexation, water conservation, adaptive traffic control, hydrant flushing, sump pump discharge, snow removal, and proper pet waste disposal.
  9. Menlo Water Tower: Menlo Water Tower received a new coat of paint in 2015. The tower was constructed in 1999 and stores 1.5 million gallons of water. The inside and outside of the tower were sandblasted and painted. To prevent drift of sand or paint, a containment curtain was hung from the top of the tower during the project. The City conducted multiple tests with the water tower out of service in preparation, and no pressure losses were experienced during the painting project.
  10. Industrial Wastewater: This year Public Works engaged a variety of stakeholders to complete an Industrial Wastewater Services Study to plan for future industrial growth. This was a proactive approach to prepare in the event a new agricultural-based industry decided to build a plant in Sioux Falls. The study focused on serving high-strength wastewater industries and the infrastructure required to maximize the benefits and reduce the risks. The City now has a roadmap in place to treat this new type of wastewater, should the need arise, and increased potential for economic development opportunities.